As a person ages, their senses tend to decline, and a loss of taste can create some challenges when it comes to planning a senior’s meals. Further complicating matters, many seniors must follow special diets that may limit the use of common flavoring agents such as salt, sugar and fat. Fortunately, nature has provided many delectable ways to make delicious food that will stimulate the senior palate.
As a leading provider of in-home care for Naples seniors, we’re familiar with healthy meal preparation and have listed some of our favorite ways to add flavor, the healthy way!
- Flavor with Herbs – A shake of salt may provide instant flavor, but there are much healthier ways to spice up a dish. Herbs and spices can have health-boosting benefits while also contributing extra flavor to meals. Try cooking with fresh cilantro, oregano and rosemary. Dried herbs, such as dill, can also be placed on the table instead of salt so that a senior can adjust the flavoring of their food while still following healthy dietary guidelines.
- Experiment with Texture – The texture of food also plays an important role in the sensations a person experiences while eating. Many seniors prefer soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Try making creamy stews with softened chunks of vegetables, or add pasta to a salad. Mashed potatoes can also be added to soups in place of cream to increase the texture without adding fat.
- Sweeten with Vegetables – Seniors tend to be able to taste sweet foods longer, which can lead them to prefer unhealthy treats over nutritious meals. However, many vegetables contain natural sugars that can be emphasized by using the right cooking techniques. Carrots, sweet potatoes and bell peppers can all turn sweet when browned or baked. Try adding these to the plate to ease a senior’s sweet tooth.
- Cook with Good Fats – Unsaturated fats can help to raise a senior’s good cholesterol levels while enhancing the flavor of meals. It is easiest to recognize healthy fats by looking for oils and food that come from natural sources. Olive oil, avocado and salmon all have strong flavors that can contribute to a delicious meal while staying within heart-healthy guidelines if used in moderation.
Need a break from caregiving? Perhaps your only able care for your loved one part time and they need additional assistance with meal preparation. Whatever the reason, contact Home Care Assistance for reliable live-in and hourly home care in Naples. Our highly trained caregivers can help with a variety of household tasks so you can take a break and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing a professional and compassionate caregiver is with your loved one.
To request free information or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, reach out to a friendly Care Manager at 239-449-4701 today.